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Hi there, and welcome back to the Monthly Missive. You can save anything in here to read later in Pocket, and email me at sophie@sophiebenjamin.com. 
First up, I am so sad about Dolores O'Riordan's death. Discovering The Cranberries and Alanis Morissette when I was 8 years old was what made me decide that I'd like to sing and play guitar in a rock band. This live performance of "Dreams" in 1999 is wonderful, and I really liked Dan Condon's take on "Zombie"'s influence as a protest song

This New York Times piece about cryptocurrency contains the best explanation of what the blockchain is is and how it works, how the internet and world wide web work, and what the rise of bitcoin means for the future. If you only want to read one thing about the topic, this should be it. 

My ancestors on my mother's side survived the Irish potato famine and my ancestors on my father's side survived the Ukrainian holodomor. As a result, I have a very slow metabolism which is perfect for surviving famine and getting as much nutrition as possible from potatoes. Here is an article on how potatoes fuelled the dominance of white people, which is ... depressing but also interesting. On a similar sombre note, here is a map of massacres which occurred during Australia's frontier wars

These pictures from inside a pencil factory are very pleasing

Eric Sun was a Silicon Valley software engineer who was heavily involved in the early days of Facebook. He also played violin beautifully. When he received a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer at the age of 33, he decided to use the time he had left on earth to complete a number of music-related goals, including mastering a number of sonatas and playing in an orchestra. I loved this piece about his life, death and the music in between

This is a very useful article on a) what actually makes a friendship b) how to maintain said friendships as an adult. 

A few Missives ago I shared a story about the women who left a polygamous fundamentalist Mormon sect. Buzzfeed's Anne Helen Petersen caught up with them a couple of years on, and it is interesting seeing how they're progressing with healing and integrating into the outside world. 

I was absolutely gripped by this profile on The Academy, a private school run by a woman who has trained as a dominatrix and a nun and a man who negotiated with warlords as part of his work with Doctors Without Borders. Together, they teach a course called Power With Men 101, which gives women the skills to not "freeze" when it comes to dealing with powerful men in stressful situations. I particularly liked how men are involved with this course, and the founders' take on people criticising men being involved. Women can't do it alone!
Copyright © 2018 Sophie Benjamin, All rights reserved.


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